Cold and appalled
Glaciation was more than usually living up to its name tonight—even Colin admitted that it was a trifle brisk in the ringing chamber and Colin is one of these blokes who wears cotton sweatshirts over his polo necks all winter long. The wind chill is minus forty? Colin is still wearing a sweatshirt. He does have a parka, but it doesn’t even have a lining.* I’m wearing two turtlenecks, a wool pullover and a wool cardigan over the pullover, long johns and two pairs of socks.** I was still cold. I nearly took my coat off the travelling-puppy crate and put it back on again*** but that would have been cruel.† And the bells were all cranky and tried to keep coming down on you.††
I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to Glaciation tonight. I’m still really tired††† and I had another voice lesson today. I took the Recording Demon with me and managed to forget to turn it off after the warm-ups and thus recorded the whole lesson. And between the previous paragraph and this one I temporarily lost both sanity and sense of self-preservation and played it back, right up to and including me saying, I left this thing on the whole time and if I have any sense at all I WON’T LISTEN.
Now I’m even tireder. Maybe I’ll just curl up in a miserable little heap on the floor and groan myself to sleep.‡
* * *
* Mind you a nice hot flush will keep you toasty but they’re unreliable little beggars and I’ve never had one arrive at an opportune moment. No, they prefer to drive you out of bed when you were actually asleep or turn you into a bright red self-basting sausage in a public place. I would like to know the physics of the bloat that frequently accompanies the bonfire of your vanities. One minute you’re your standard wizened crone-like self and the next minute you’re the Michelin Woman. Genetic Lego? Teeny weeny molecular hydraulic pumps?
The Incredible Hulk is a menopausal woman. Pass it on.
** Leg warmers would be nice but they are not wise in the presence of a puppy. She tends to pull me along by my jeans hems and shoelaces as it is.
*** If warmth is the only criterion I should leave the coat where it is and put the puppy down my shirt. Harder to ring that way however.
† Although the only times I’ve ever seen her shiver it was with WILD EXPECTATION. Look look a dog! Look look a person! Look look the kettle has just boiled!^
^ I usually put a little hot water over her kibble and stuff like bits of chicken+ that have been in the refrigerator. This means that every time you make a fresh cup of tea you must dash her expectations.
She’s still only a puppy so ask me in a couple of years and I only want a (reasonably) well behaved companion hellterror, so I’m not going to be expecting her to learn to dance the fandango or make hollandaise. But she will do ANYTHING for food. This has its practical applications.++ If she’s out of her crate and you’re trying to make a cup of tea you will keep tripping over a SITTING puppy. SITTING is one of those things that produces food.+++
When we’re out on one of our mini-hurtles as soon as we turn for home there’s no dillydallying—home is where FOOOOOOD is and she will get some the moment we’re safely across the threshold. If I say her name she will have to check it out because sometimes when I call her there is foooooooood and she wouldn’t want to miss one of those times. She learned ‘wait’ INSTANTLY as soon as there was a bit of kibble in my hand. She spends so much time on her back having her tummy rubbed I really should teach her to roll over.
+ And leftover cooked Brussels sprouts. My puppy eats leftover cooked Brussels sprouts.
++ She might like learning to make hollandaise.
+++ Although if you’re on the floor with her and a handful of kibble, she will be so excited by the presence of fooooood she will keep FORGETTING to sit. But once you get her sort of focussed she will lie down FOREVER if there’s foooooood involved. —Lie down? she says. Sure. I can do that . . . foooooooood.
†† God is tiring. Major life transitions are tiring. I went to the full dress Sunday morning Mass [sic] at Tintinnabulation Abbey yesterday and nearly had to be carried out after to a waiting ambulance with oxygen and a defibrillator.^ And THE CLOISTER WALK which at least a dozen people have recommended to me is out of print. Abebooks will have it. But she won’t get a royalty from the sale.
^ The real reason the monks offer tea and coffee to us plodders afterward is to give us a chance to pull ourselves together and find our car keys. Car? Key?
†† So not finishing the top of their 360°. And to ring a method accurately you need the full 360° swing^. Cold and/or cranky bells will resist completing the full circle, and, just to make things more amusing, will resist erratically so whatever you do to adapt will be wrong. And this has nothing to do with relative size: at Glaciation, for example, the two is much likelier to come down on you than the four, although the four is a substantially bigger bell. The four was popular with me tonight because the hottest electric fire was standing immediately behind it.
^ I will spare you a lengthy discussion of ringing below the balance which you mostly have to do on the big bells to keep your place in the line if your big bells are enough bigger than your small bells. I don’t ring biggish+ tenors all that often and I’m always caught out by this. You find where you need to ring by ringing, and then when the conductor calls ‘stand’, woops, you can’t, because you’re not swinging to the top, so then if you’re me you have to bong another stroke or three to get the sneaky freller high enough again to stand. This is embarrassing and everyone hangs around joking about how every bong after the conductor says Stand is another round at the pub. Ha ha frelling ha.
+ I don’t ring big tenors
‡ ::whapping self up longside the head:: If I can ADJUST to reality, the Recording Demon is a useful tool. And blondviolinist who is a professional musician AGREES with me that it’s okay not to be perfect.
Waaaaaaah. I want to be perfect. Okay, I’ll settle for listenable-to. Peter says I sound like my confidence is improving. Peter is tone deaf.
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